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ANA AND CRIDO Urge ICANN to Adopt “Do Not Sell” Registry to Address Challenges With “Defensive Registrations” in Top Level Domain Name Expansion Program

February 28, 2012; Washington, D.C. - The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight (CRIDO) have urged ICANN to adopt a "Do Not Sell" registry or some similar approach to address the serious concerns Internet stakeholders have about the need for "defensive registrations" to protect their brands in the TLD expansion program.  The ANA/CRIDO letter, which is available here, was filed in response to a request for comments from ICANN on the "perceived" need for defensive registrations.

Dan Jaffe, ANA Executive Vice President, stated: "Many of our members feel tremendous pressure to apply for new TLDs, even though they have no interest in actually using them.  The need for defensive registrations is not merely a 'perception' as ICANN asserts.  Too often, defensive registrations are the only avenue available to brand owners to protect the value they have created through decades of hard work and tremendous capital investment."

The ANA/CRIDO letter describes the specific concerns marketers and other Internet stakeholders have about the need for defensive registrations at both the top and second domain levels.  It also discusses serious gaps and shortfalls in the current protections that ICANN has provided for brand and trademark owners in the TLD expansion program. The letter urges ICANN to adopt a "Do Not Sell" registry, a proposal that was delivered to ICANN by ANA and CRIDO last month.

Jaffe stated:  "There is a very clear reason why ICANN has reserved several of its own names as well as the names of the International Olympic Committee and the Red Cross.  A 'Do Not Sell' registry would provide the same level of protection to the rest of the Internet community.  Without that protection, brand owners will be forced to spend vast sums of money on TLDs they do not want or need in order to prevent consumer confusion, dilution of their trademark rights and other serious harms.  We strongly urge ICANN to adopt such an approach at the upcoming board meeting in Costa Rica next month."

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About the ANA

Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 400 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit http://www.ana.net/, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

About CRIDO

The Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) represents 166 influential national and international trade associations and companies, including all the members of the World Federation of Advertisers that have joined together to oppose the roll-out of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) program to expand Internet top-level domain names. CRIDO members, representing some 90 percent of global marketing communications spending (equivalent to $700 billion annually), cite the proposal's deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and lack of stakeholder consensus, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information, visit http://www.crido.org/.

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